Budget 2021: Kwasi Kwarteng all but confirms furlough extension
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has appeared to confirm that Rishi Sunak will extend the furlough scheme in tomorrow’s Budget.
Kwarteng said today that it was a “fairly good assumption” that the scheme will be extended beyond next month by the chancellor.
The scheme – which sees the government part-subsidise people’s wages – is due to end at the end of next month, however Covid restrictions will mean many businesses will not be able to open near capacity for some time to come.
The furlough scheme is estimated to cost around £6bn a month.
Speaking to the BBC today, Kwarteng said: “I think the chancellor has already indicated that we will be extending furlough.
“I think that has been part of a public announcement. I think there will be other measures that we will see tomorrow.”
The Sun reported last week that the furlough scheme, VAT cut for retail and hospitality and business rates holiday will all be extended until June at a cost of around £30bn.
When speaking about the Covid emergency schemes on Sunday, the chancellor told the BBC that “we went big, we went early and there’s more to come”.